I have never made doughnuts until I made these. Just to make that clear from the offset. I was PANICKING about them, whether these would work or not. Quite honestly, I would go as far as to say they were easy! The recipe is adapted from the ‘Leon Fast Vegan Cookbook‘ but was actually created by Lauren Watts, the founder of Dough Society which was a vegan doughnut and coffee shop in Hackney (sadly now closed). Lauren adapted the recipe she’s perfected over the last 20 years, specifically for home baking and it’s so good!
The doughnuts themselves have a delicious sour dough flavour and texture, paired with the toffee apple filling and cinnamon sugar, it’s a true autumn comfort food! Oh, did I mention they’re also vegan?
Toffee Apples make me so nostalgic at this time of year, but they’ve never been my favourite thing because they’re a little tricky to eat. I’ve been craving something like that for the last few weeks and when my parents dropped around a big bag of apples from their orchard, I knew I had to make the most of them.
To put the hygge vibes that I had in my head into reality, required a little bit of work in the garden. I made these doughnuts on a beautiful blue sky autumn day, so we pulled the cushions out of the garage and a few blankets and lit the fire for the first time! It’s moments like this in life that I savour. They take a little longer to set up, but really make my heart sing and my soul happy.
With the promise of an afternoon and evening curled up by a roaring fire in the fresh air, I got cracking with the doughnuts.
Ingredients for the Doughnuts
250ml almond milk
50g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 teaspoons dried active yeast
400g strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine
Vegetable oil for greasing and frying (I used 1 litre)
Ingredients for the Filling
1 large cooking apple
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 tablespoons dulce de leche (or vegan caramel if vegan friendly)
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Method for the Doughnuts
- Warm the milk on the hob until lukewarm, then mix in the sugar, vanilla and yeast. Set aside until foamy.
- Mix together the flour, salt and cinnamon, then slowly knead in the foamy liquid using a food processor or hand whisk with dough hooks. Knead for around 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.
- Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, kneading until fully smooth.
- Grease a clean bowl with oil and turn the dough into the bowl then cover with cling film and leave in a warm place (I used our heated clothes rail) for an hour until expanded in size (while letting the dough rise, make the doughnut filling)
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface dusted with flour and roll until 1.5cm thick
- Cut the dough up using a cookie cutter (roughly 8cm) and place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper (you’ll need two baking trays). Re-roll the trimmings and cut until all the dough is used up.
- Cover the trays loosely with cling film or a damp cloth and place in a warm place for 30 mins
- When your dough is ready it will have risen slightly (don’t worry if it doesn’t look as though they have grown much – mine didn’t – they will transform during frying!)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan (I used this pan) over the stove at 170 degrees celcius or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
- Using a heat proof spoon, carefully lower the doughnuts into the oil (two at a time) and cook for two minutes on each side. Use tongs to remove the doughnuts from the oil and allow the excess oil to drain off before popping on a cooling rack.
- When the doughnuts are cool enough to touch, roll them in your cinnamon sugar until fully coated
- Make a small incision in the side of each doughnut and pipe your toffee apple filling into each
Method for the filling
- Peel, core and chop your apple into small 1cm size pieces. Then add to a pan on a medium heat along with your butter.
- Add the icing sugar and water and cook until the apple has softened to a purée consistency
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool
- Once the apple has cooled, mix in your dulce de leche (or vegan caramel) and put in a piping bag
Method for the Cinnamon Sugar
- Mix together your cinnamon and sugar in a bowl
Although it seems as though there are a lot of steps in making these doughnuts. The actual time it take is so little and SO WORTH IT. I really hope you enjoy making them, and please don’t forget to tag me in your pictures over on instagram if you do give them a try!